With the announcement on PMDG’s Forum of the pricing for the 737 releasing Monday ($69.99), and the release of the brilliant (and challenging!) Wing42 Boeing 247D, at just $19.99 last month, are we starting to see an addon era where developers have decided on lower price levels or are they anomalies?
There is the idea that, at a more ‘reasonable’ price point, more people will be able to purchase the addon, thus putting these developer’s work into more hands, more quickly, building a reputation with new buyers while cementing a reputation with long-time customers. To me this can only be a good move for us all, and ultimately, will serve the developer well, as well.
Instead of pricing beyond the $100USD mark, putting products into fewer hands but making a tidy sum, if we support devs who seem to be trying out this new approach, it may roll over to more of the industry as a hole. How do you see these developments and are you supporting such efforts? Are you commenting or purchasing to show your support, or both?
the price put me off the DC-6 when that was released , which luckily for me meant i missed out on that mess. xbox flyer
if the 247 makes it to the dark side , i will get it. i have no interest in 737
Agree, at this price I will buy the 737 now and then the 738 later. Whereas the amount charged for the Maddog just won’t get me to buy it at all as my “interest factor to price ratio” isn’t in their favour.
And I am not saying the pricing for some will not do the same - each person’s threshold will be different, in regards to what they deem fair, doable, and justified. For many over the years, they have faced rather huge prices for the airliners they desired, getting more systems and model depth, but definitely having to price the price to do so. The 737 in times past might easily have been $100USD to perhaps as much as $140USD. So in this example, the new MSFS 737 at $69.99, while still possibly too high for a chunk of the community, will be a welcome surprise for those expecting more of the same, high end planes for high end prices.
Hopefully there will be sales in the MP especially that can assist some in grabbing the addons they want, at a price even more friendly than expected or needed
To this point, PMDG’s DC-6 has now been reduced to $59.
Robert at PMDG has been saying for a couple months that their research over the years shows that people generally end up flying one or two airframe variants of their products. The larger market size of MSFS compared to their prior sim targets and now pricing by airframe variant means most customers will now be able to just buy those one or two versions they’re interested in the most and save money, even though those few completionists who actually WANT everything might not benefit so much.
Honestly, I think some people didn’t quite understand the PMDG tactic.
Each variant will be sold separately. In the end, the price of each variant will only be beneficial if you want just one variant. From two variants, you will basically be paying more if you wanted to buy them for P3D.
So PMDG has not abandoned its old pricing practices. Instead, they’ve found a new tactic to further rip off the public that wants two or more variants of the 737, which I’d say is bigger than those who want just one.
Regarding pricing, I still don’t see developers adopting a different pricing practice in MSFS than they would in other simulators. I believe that at most, the popularity of MSFS can encourage them to lower the price in exchange for being able to sell more, since the sales potential in MSFS is much greater.
$100+ addons will be a reality in the future. And I say, there will be buyers for these addons no matter how much outrage it causes.
I remenber when HotStart released the Challenger 650 for XP11 costing $115. It had the initial outrage, obviously, but little by little we discovered that this aircraft was in a league ahead of any other addon ever made, with an absurd and unprecedented level of detail. Whether it’s worth it or not is up to each one, but I wouldn’t say the price isn’t justified.
It will be very interesting to see where the Fenix prices out. They have extremely good competition from an excellent continually developed freeware version and what is their path ahead? Aerosoft is working on an A330, we already have a decent freeware version A330 and FBW is working on the A380. There’s supposedly an A220 in development and an A310. For most simmers, I don’t see the appeal to spend $70+ on a payware A320 when the market is already saturated with auto trim button pushing pilots.
It doesn’t bother me that VNAV isn’t quite there yet on the FBW at all. It’s being worked on and there’s a new update to the experimental version almost each day.
If the Fenix comes around $30-40 USD maybe it’s worth a look. But for $40, we’ve already seen feature rich unique aircraft from well known developers like Milviz 310 that knocked it out of the park.
It’s just too convenient that they wake up and make a post after PMDG finally releases. They have been horrible at giving the media any updates and sharing progress as their last public post outside discord was January 2022.
I think it’s a big mistake to compare old and/or GA aircraft with modern airliners. Modern airliners have multiple systems that need to be coded, so a realistic one will obviously be more expensive.
100% agree - makes sense – just like they cost so much more in Real Life.
You get what you pay for …
The big thing with this is value for money and we all have different thresholds for that. The key is making the devs produce something worthy of your coin and remembering the ones who let you down.
In regards to the pricing I was referring to the idea you could buy a variant, rather than having to buy the whole lot at $140, whether you used what all came with the package, or not. I am a GA person at heart but I liked the idea that if you really only wanted one variant, at a lower price, at least you’d get what you mainly use, and not have to buy the whole thing, at a higher price and not put the rest of it to any use. In that way, at least for PMDG, for folks not wanting the entire package on offer, it would work out cheaper.
As for what Wing42 did, the modeling, the complexity, the unusual systems management and constant need to watch practically everything (let alone how you navigate), their price point was fantastic. They could easily have charged double and I don’t think many would have come away, feeling they were taken advantage of.
I hope other developers will decide that if they present a lower price point, they will get more sales and thus reach more people, many perhaps first time buyers, because they can now afford to do so.
The pricing strategy for older sims was due to a smaller customer base but one with a lot of disposable income and passion. These customers may only fly a few very particular models, so they don’t mind higher prices.
But with MSFS, if you can take advantage of the immensely larger install base, you stand to make much more revenue. I think Wing42’s experiment will pay off mightily.
I predict we will continue to see addons that appeal to the broader audience and the high-end study level projects will be few and far between. All the devs should be getting better at understanding the MSFS SDK by now and as they modernize their process, we should see fewer bugs. Like any other sim of the past, in due time, we’ll start to see more and more complexity as the platform matures.
If the price of a product is considered too high, consumers won’t buy it. If it isn’t, they will. The majesty of the capitalist system. And basic economics 101.
I would like to know what netto profit they are making, problem an astronomical number that wants me to tell my kids to go into software development!
I will only buy on variant, probably the 900 or max. I see that with the CRJ, only fly the 900.
Msfs2020 is not only popular in western rich countries. They should limit the price at 50 bucks so flightsim enthusiasts all over the world can afford it. They still get rich.
FS2020 has far more users than any other sim has had. More users means more volume means lower prices. Generally lower prices means more sales means more revenues for the developer.
Economies of scale can be a wonderful thing when it works properly.
The only thing I don’t understand is why each variant is a full price module. I would only want the 800, but given that is so far away I would have bought the 700. What I won’t do is buy the 700 then spend the same amount of money for the exact same product but with a slightly bigger fuselage and some tweaked numbers. Their pricing should work more like the JF PA28 package did. I had no intention of buying them all, but because of intelligent pricing did so.
I would never in my life pay 70 Dollar for a videogame DLC.
Wing42’s low price for the ( beautiful ) 247D was an “experiment”, as said by Otmar, who owns the company and built the airplane. He felt that it might bring more people to the airplane, who otherwise would not have bought into the vintage part of the market. I reckon he was right to do it. However, such a low price for such a high-quality product is an anomaly.
I do think that the days of $100 are long gone, and that the vastly increased market size does allow developers to reduce prices, but $60+ for a product that might have taken two years or more to build is not unexpected nor should it be really. These things take a very long time to build at that level and the reward for the developer is the right to charge a bit more for them.
You don’t intend to live very long then? Or in the future never purchase DLCs. Never say never
We are pretty much already in that era. Look at some games base price compared to their “Ultimate-Premium-Super-Mega-Special-Limited-Deluxe Editions”. Basically twice the price again. It’s definitely here now but wrapped up with some clever Psychology and Marketing.
to clarify the 737 does nothing for me. if it was a fully detailed VC-10, sea vixen or beaufighter for instance, my answer could be different